If people only have a choice between evils–be it republicans or democrats, leave or remain, tories, labour lib-dems etc. –then those who don’t want any of them are coerced into making a choice they don’t want, it violates the principles of consent at a very basic level. Consent must be free of coercion by definition, otherwise it is not consent. And when the costs of not picking a side are too high, the voter relationship with the government becomes non-consensual.
There’s a relief that comes with such a diagnosis. But also a glimpse of the fatality that living in our society provides. It’s a label which means you can be put in the box, ‘no longer of any use to society’. And the purpose of getting well is to be of use to society because the machine, the machine must be fed. That is the way of things in the system we have built.
I don’t hide my white privilege but many of my friends don’t know that my Greek-American father wasn’t considered white as a young man. But they don’t tend to ask because I look utterly white, a caucasian through and through. It’s such a small thing, that it barely scratches the surface of relevance. And yet weirdly enough my realisation of what this means is emblematic of our globally expansive-yet-locally-intolerant times.
Yet when you have learned that the best, and almost exclusively only way to survive is by diminishing yourself in order to support those in power–mainly white men–it is paralysing and seemingly impossible to enter into the fray against them. This is the inadmissable and often unconscious conundrum that many white women face deep in their core.
Understandably, those whom fascists consider less deserving of rights and opportunity do not take their prospective dehumanization lying down. But the course of your chosen response in the fight against dehumanization is not necessarily dictated by your political stance. Whether you use reasonable discourse or violent protest is more likely be influenced by another factor: privilege, and how your privilege promotes your own survival.
Pathologizing Trump-like behaviour as opposed to his alleged condition, facilitates a dangerous denial and conflation. If someone is clinically diagnosed with a mental disorder then it creates distance because we better able to dismiss it. Cruel and abusive behaviour can be explained away and the narcissist is somewhat absolved of responsibility for his actions, as are we.